The Vauxhall Astra is the fourth bestselling car in the UK. For that accolade you can thank its chic styling and keen pricing, as its deadly rival, the Ford Focus – the second bestselling car in the country – offers sharper handling and several more economical petrol engines. If price is one of your key considerations, though, several of the cheaper Astra models offer a reasonably long list of standard equipment and punchy enough engines for your money.

We’ve rounded up three of the best value Vauxhall Astra models that feature all the essential equipment you could want, along with nippy enough acceleration and reasonable economy. With prices for these starting from just £16,000, buyers with a smaller budget may be better served with an Astra than a Ford Focus. On the flipside, however, those able to spend more than £20,000 may find that their money buys them more kit and a better combination of power and fuel economy with the Ford.

The smart choice for those on a budget: 1.6 115 Design – £16,060

While you can buy an Astra for less than £13,000, the most basic models offer little standard equipment and engines that may struggle with heavier loads. For £16,000, though, you can bag yourself a petrol version that sprints to 62mph in a reasonable 10.9 seconds and returns acceptable fuel economy of 44.8mpg.

Standard kit on this car includes air conditioning, electric and heated wing mirrors, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. If all you want is an affordable but spacious medium car that won’t prove too expensive to run, this could be it.

The smart choice for value for money: 1.4 140 Turbo SRi – £20,205

One of the Astra’s biggest selling points is its sleek styling and the SRi versions build on this with 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension and tinted rear windows. For just over £20,000 you can find yourself a petrol model with the power to back up the bold styling.

This 138bhp model zooms to 62mph in a speedy 8.9 seconds, though economy is still strong, at 49.6mph. Car tax, however, will set you back £130 per year – less than the slower model above. Other toys included in SRi trim are supportive sports seats and a leather sports steering wheel, front fog lights, chrome window trim, ambient lighting, a trip computer and an alarm.

The smart choice for technophiles: 1.6 CDTi 136 ecoFLEX Tech Line – £19,505

If high-tech equipment tops your wish list, the 1.6 CDTi 136 Tech Line is packed with useful kit, though it does without the steep price tag of range-topping Elite cars. Coming as standard are sat nav, a digital radio, Bluetooth, a trip computer, uprated sound system and USB connection for connecting your phone or iPod, along with 17-inch alloy wheels.

This diesel motor also offers impressive economy, with a claimed figure of 72.4mpg, though it can still accelerate to 62mph in a reasonably quick 9.7 seconds. If you’re not concerned with performance, however, you can save yourself £595 by going for the 1.6 CDTi 110, which gets to 62mph in 11.4 seconds and offers even higher fuel economy at 76.3mpg.

Picture: Vauxhall